We all know that exercise can improve your health and help you feel comfortable and confident in your body. But the actions we take outside of the gym can have just as much of an impact on your health and happiness. There are many things that can improve your fitness time, including the access you have to fitness spaces or time in your daily life to put yourself first. We’re going to talk about three easy ways you can improve your workouts without stepping foot in a gym. 

Hydration

Water is one of the most important components of living a healthy lifestyle. That’s because water makes up about 60% of your body and around 80% of your muscles. When you aren’t getting enough water, you feel less motivated, fatigued, and may notice changes in your body temperature regulation and brain function. When you’re exercising while dehydrated, all those effects are amplified, which can make it a challenge to get your workout in. If you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day before, during, and after your workouts, you won’t be operating at your best. 

Stretching

After a hard workout, your first impulse might be to lie down and be done moving for awhile. But jumping right to inactivity after a workout is skipping one important step in your fitness routine — stretching. Take the time after each workout to stretch your muscles. Stretching lengthens your muscles, which can help remove lactic acid buildup from muscle growth and encourage blood flow through the area. It also helps you avoid tight muscles and strains that can develop when overworked muscles lean on surrounding muscles to compensate. Incorporate stretching into your cool-down at the end of each workout to help your body recover as best it can from the hard work you did. 

Pro tip: Don’t stretch with cold muscles as it can lead to strains or injuries. If you like to stretch before a workout, complete a quick warmup to get blood flowing through your body and wake up your muscles, joints, and ligaments. Once you’re warm, then you can stretch it out. 

Eating Healthy, Nutritious Food

It likely comes as no surprise that eating healthy is an important part of supporting your body as you work hard while exercising. Food is fuel. The more robust your diet is in the many nutrients you need to function properly, the better you’ll feel. Recommendations from health organizations can be a good starting point with components of a healthy diet and how to create a balanced plate. From there, figure out what foods from each recommended category you and your family like best. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy less healthy foods, too. Take advantage of frozen food options to load up on proteins, veggies, and grains and keep costs down when feeding the whole family. 

Want to dig deeper into a healthy, fit lifestyle? Read our other blogs covering workouts, healthy living, and family fitness.